“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit;apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Connection is key to living the life God desires for you. Jesus Christ is our nourishment. He is constant supplier of anything and everything we could ever need.
Jesus is the vine. He is nourishment and the supplier.
I (you) are the branches. We depend on the vine. It is a need to stay connected to Him.
Pruning is necessary for growing and flourishing. Pruning is a sign that something needs to change. And although pruning is uncomfortable and sometimes painful- it shows God is present. Examples of pruning can be walking through death, a hard relationship, etc. Pruning is ultimately refining and shaping. Even though we often feel like God isn’t present in the pruning the truth is: He sees you, hears you, and loves you; He is for you.
Our connection to the vine is due completely to Jesus, not how well we are at being branches. Christ died for us- for you! For me! (Romans 5:8)
We as Christians are called to abide in Him. To abide is “faith applied”. It is when we take the truth we are offered and that we know and we apply it to how we live.
So, how do you abide?
-Prayer (it is dialogue- a two way conversation)
-Reading the bible (your life will reflect what you read)\
-Having a community of believers (we CANNOT do life alone. We were created for not only a relationship with God, but a relationship with other believers!
-Obedience (willing to do it His way)
-Trust (taking a step even when it is hard, Peter took a step into the waves because he knew the Lord was there and he TRUSTED that He would walk with him in the storm. He will walk with you. He will keep you afloat.
What fruit should we bear? We are vines after all… Galatians 5:22 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Our lives should display evidence that we are connected to Jesus. Bearing fruit is not a burden, it is a blessing.
Love- John 13:34 says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Great evidence of our connection to Jesus is our love. Lead with love and let truth follow.
Joy- The bible commands to be joyful in all circumstances. James 1:2 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
Peace- Peace is not the absence of pain; it is the confidence of who is with (and for) you.
Patience- “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29
Kindness + goodness- We are all called to tell of the goodness and kindness of Jesus despite our circumstances.
Faithfulness- “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Romans 2:10
Gentleness- We are called to be gentle in how we interact with others so that we may reflect the Father’s love.
Self Control- “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles,” states Proverbs 21:23. When we have self-control we will be less prone to troubles.
Our connection to Jesus has elevated our position to friend. He calls us all His friends. We walk different because of who our friends are. If Jesus is your friend, walk with confidence of His goodness.
Because of Jesus, it changes everything! Because of all this, I live differently.